Jenn

Lucky 13.1?

In I thought they said "rum" on October 13, 2011 at 1:07 pm

This past weekend I embarked upon my thirteenth half marathon. Seven years ago after the birth of my son I was suckered into joining a half marathon training group.  My son was only five months old when I started training. Had it not been for the lack of sleep and judgement I may have never begun this journey. But here I am 13 half marathons later and loving it! I picked an easy flat almost downhill course. The Mohawk Hudson Marathon attracts Boston hopefuls with its fast course.  It is listed as one of the top 10 Boston qualifiers. You can read more in the Active.com article 10 Best Boston Qualifiers. It was also on my own turf. I run parts of the course several times a month. This was going to be no problem to a seasoned half marathoner! In fact, I planned to blow away my personal record.

Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.

-Seneca

But something about this 13th scared me. After all, there are 12 months in a year, 12 apostles, 12 hours in the am and pm, 12 days of Christmas, the 12th Man (whoop, I am an Aggie!).  My 12th half marathon was my hardest and I PR’d by 26 seconds. Would number 13 finally do me in? Hotels and airlines go through great lengths to often re-number floors to skip unlucky 13. Friday the 13th = bad luck. I sweated through Friday the 13th of my first pregancy only to be relieved he was born on Saturday the 14th.   Triskaidekaphobia is a word to describe the fear of the number 13. This could be serious! (Insert dry humor here.)

I prepared for months. I even organized a running group to help motivate others and to keep me motivated. I worked HARD!  But the season had a few setbacks for me. A flare up with a neck injury causing bad migranes and pain. Some personal changes had me distracted over the season. Then three weeks before the event I caught a bad virus, lost my voice and was riddled with bad headaches and exhaustion. Attemps to run had me looking pale and glazed in fever sweat. One week before the race I spent the weekend in bed on Sudafed, Amoxicillan and Advil nursing the baterial infection that resulted after the virus. Then there was a quick visit from the kidney stone fairy and an unseasonable heat wave race weekend. It appeared the trifecta of bad luck was upon me. —Oh the drama!  The mental runner in me wanted to take over.

Whether you believe you can or believe you can’t, you’re probably right.”
-Henry Ford

But by Sunday, the race day, I was functional and felt I could have a safe run. I was going to have to be conservative. Goals of blowing away my previous times were most likely gone but I had trained hard.  I kept up with my conditioning doing yoga and strength training. I could do it, even if it meant just scraping into a PR. And I changed my mental attitude. Yes, it was going to be very warm. Yes, I was weaker from 3 weeks of viruses and infection. But I have run next to individuals in cancer treatment who out ran me.  Yes, I did not run the way I wanted to the last two weeks. But, maybe 13 is not so unlucky, particularly in sports. Dan Marino, Alex Rodriguez, Wilt Chamberlin and Shaquille O’Neal, Yao Ming have all donned the number 13 at some point in their careers. Maybe in sports, 13 means something different. I was going to run safe, run consistent and I WAS going to get my PR.  And I DID! By 2 minutes and 58 seconds!

Mohawk Hudson Half Marathon Bib

My 13th Half Marathon Bib

As I dragged myself to the post race massage tent to repair my cramped up muscles a girl in line started small talk. This was her first half marathon and I congratulated her. Then she asked if it was my first. I told her it was my 13th waiting for the comment on “unlucky 13”.

 Instead she said, “Oh, wow! Well this is a pivitol run! You have completed thirteen, 13.1’s!”

And there lies the poetry. I picked an event to love that in itself should be considered “unlucky”. Each time I sign up for a half marathon I elect to run 13.1 miles. Maybe 13 is not so unlucky after all….

Love,

Jennie

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